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Grace the Robofish Goes for a Swim

by Range

OK, so maybe ‘underwater gliding’ is the technical term, but to me, it looks like this robot fish is swimming. As Grace (short for Gliding Robot ACE), the robot fish glides through the water, it strives to conserve energy.

grace robotic fish photo

Developed by Associate Professor Xiaobo Tan and a team of engineers at Michigan State University, Grace can flap its tail to swim, but this could deplete its batteries in a few hours. To increase travel time, Grace relies on pumping water out of its body, as well as rhythmically moving its battery to control its direction.

grace robotic fish top photo

There are apparently plenty of underwater gliders already in the oceans, but this robotic fish is about a tenth of their size and weight, and it also has an energetic swimming mode. It’s hoped that robots such as these can help monitor the quality of our seas. On its maiden voyage, Grace’s crude oil sensor was able to detect increased oil levels in the Kalamazoo River, presumably linked to a spill back in 2010.

[via New Scientist]

Comments (1):

  1. Jeremy Keller says:

    Grace may look like the cross between an underwater glider and a flying bomb but I think that as long as it is an autonomous robofish that’s the main thing. Well, who knows what the 21st century will provide us with next? Already there seem to be roadable aircraft in the form of the Glasair PD-2 and the Maverick, referred to as the flying car that does. Already there also seem to be underwater craft that look a bit like aeroplanes. Keep up the good work!

    I am featured on the BBC website and anxious to bring my weblinks to everyone’s attention. Simply visit Google and type in KELLER BBC or BBC KELLER, as you should see JEREMY KELLER BBC appear on the screen. You should also be able to find me on Facebook by searching for FLYING CAR or MAVERICK.

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